tv Worklife BBC News February 14, 2020 8:30am-9:02am GMT
with ben bland and david eades. uneasy riders. willa legal crackdown see the wheels come off the multi—billion dollar e—scooter business? live from london, that's our top story on friday 1a february. they've been hailed by some as the green urban transport of the future, but others see them as a dangerous menace. e—scooters may be controversial, but they are also a growing business worth billions of dollars. also in the programme... the impact of coronavirus on singapore's economy. the government says a recession could be possible, and... who is the uk's new finance minister, rishi sunak? we'll be finding out. and we'll
get the inside track on what gift to buy for loved one — in particular the growing trend for giving "experiences" rather than traditional presents. and... it's valentines day, of course, and a budget retailer in the uk has sold 40,000 engagement rings worth £1 each — so how would you feel about getting or giving one of these? let us know — just use the hashtag bbcworklife. hello, and welcome to worklife. get those tweets coming in. my further one —— favourite one so far, i don't want an engagement ring, i wa nt i don't want an engagement ring, i wantan i don't want an engagement ring, i want an onion ring! more coming up in the programme. we start with electric scooters. green urban transport of the future or a dangerous menace? whatever you think of them, they have become a hugely controversial issue. they are not currently legal to ride on the road or the pavement here in the uk, although many people do. and today, german politicians vote
on measures that could see them banned in many cities. gemany legalised e—scooters last year and has now become the biggest market in europe. but safety concerns have led to calls to tighten regulations on how and where they can be used. there aren't global safety figures for e—scooters, but the us has seen more than 1500 accidents since 2017, and there have been several fatal crashes around europe. that hasn't stopped huge investment, though, e—scooter ride sharing schemes are now in 90 cities around the world. the market is currently thought to be worth around $18.6 billion, and supporters say the growth potential is vast. according to one estimate, in ten years, the market could even be worth up to half a trillion dollars. but, a lot depends on resolving the legal question marks around how e—scooters are used.
very much so. with us now is matthew lesh, head of research at the adam smith institute. thank you forjoining us. i suppose it's a sign of great success when you are ahead of the regulators because that is essentially what has happened here. but how much of a break is this issue over use of and regulation of likely to have, do you think? like other new transport technologies, like car sharing or the bicycle, there is a position concerning questions raised about safety. what we' re concerning questions raised about safety. what we're seeing right across the world is quite helpful... a lot of regulators and a lot of cities are working out ways to ensure they are safely regulated, providing a useful service that can reduce carbon emissions and congestion, that are part of the mobility challenge as we try to reduce emissions and try to address population growth in cities. it's difficult to imagine it won't carry on growing but that sense of control... it is a bit wild
west at the moment, not least the pedestrians who are not used to these things and they do hurtle along? they do and they can go up to 15-20 along? they do and they can go up to 15—20 miles an hour, so there is some real speed there. i think particularly the regulators and cities, it's about getting the appropriate regime in place so they can enable the technology, because it is fantastic technology. 0ne third of a scooter rides replace car trips. millions of fewer trips in cars. 0n the other hand, you need to ensure people are safe on these. broadly the research suggests they can have a similar safety issues to b i cycles. can have a similar safety issues to bicycles. you probably would recommend people to wear helmets, be careful when riding, look out for them. that is no reason to stop them being used altogether. bikes and electric bikes brings another issue in as well. they point about the investment in them, it's easy to think of this as a silicon valley venture and a plaything but actually, if people
have pensions and saving invested in capital venture funds, they could have money invested in these e—scooter fans and this investment could ship because shift in what that's worth? it could and we have to understand the scale of e—scooters. the fastest transport in history. unicorn status, weather over $1 billion. it could be worth as much as $500 billion by 2030. the regulations that are in place could potentially limit some of the growth in certain cities. there has been a to try and limit numbers of e—scooter to make sure don't clutter up e—scooter to make sure don't clutter up sidewalks and footpaths. that is something the companies are trying to deal with as they move into new cities. in the uk, in particular, they are not legal to use on public roads, sideway walks or psychopaths. some cities in the us, the
companies for ease scooters have turned up and put them all over the city. it has kind of crept on us. i didn't realise the sheer scale of the growth of the business. thank you, matthew. have you used e—scooters? 0nce but a long time ago when my boys were little! a pioneer, head of my time. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news now. the us has expanded its lawsuit against huawei, accusing the chinese telecoms giant of a "decades—long" plan to steal technology from us firms. prosecutors said huawei had violated the terms of partnerships with us companies and stolen trade secrets. it adds to a list of other charges brought by the us last year. huawei has denied the claims. a usjudge has ordered a temporary halt on a $10 billion defence contract with microsoft, following a challenge by amazon. it had been favourite to win the cloud computing deal known asjedi — joint enterprise defense infrastructure — but sued after it went to arch rival microsoft. amazon has accused officials of bowing to pressure
from president trump who has often attacked amazon and bossjeff bezos. universal music — home to global stars including taylor swift and drake — is set to sell shares to the public in the next two years. universal is the world's biggest music label — the most prized asset of french media giant vivendi. it has seen a year of record profits according to vivendi's latest results — the paris—based group says the share sale will go ahead by early 2023 at the latest. british prime minister boris johnson's new cabinet will meet for the first time later today, without the finance minister, or chancellor, sajid javid, following his unexpected decision to quit during yesterday's reshuffle. mrjavid said he could not accept a demand to sack his advisers,
and in his resignation letter, pointedly told the prime minister it was "important to have trusted teams that reflect character and integrity". you can see his successor there. the new chancellor — rishi sunak — says he has "lots to get on with", that is an understatement! but downing street is refusing to confirm that the budget will be delivered as planned on the 11th of march. joining us now is jane foley, senior currency strategist, rabobank. it was quite a shocker in the course of thursday. a lot of people having to work out what that meant. what do the markets make of it all? we saw sterling push higher on the news and also the government bond market sell off. the reason for that is the markets anticipation that perhaps a new chancellor will be spending more money. we have known for a while that there has been some tension between number 11 and number 10 downing st. we saw on the 30th
of january, we saw the old chancellor say to other department that they need to rain back spending. that perhaps didn't go down very well with downing street, who have made various electoral pledges that spending would go up. of course, growth this year has been revised lower. the bank of england at the end of january revised to lower the forecast for inflation, less money into the government's offer so less room for the chancellor to play with. it does seem like this new chancellor could be about to tear up the fiscal rules of sajid javid. what is clear is it would seem to be a concentration of power for boris johnson, bringing his own man in, with advisers that mrjohnson's own tea m with advisers that mrjohnson's own team can work with. that might sound strengthening with a good solid majority, but over time, strengthening with a good solid majority, but overtime, it strengthening with a good solid majority, but over time, it focuses the bad as the good very much on number10? the bad as the good very much on number 10? it the bad as the good very much on number10? it does the bad as the good very much on number 10? it does indeed. the bad as the good very much on number10? it does indeed. of course, it does mean perhaps we will have a large amount of debt for longer. in years gone by, we would
see that perhaps the guild market, the government debt market, several of heavily on that and although we have seen a sell—off, it hasn't been huge because globally we are in this environment where long—term interest rates and bond yields are extremely low. this can be linked with savings. money has to go somewhere, it has been pushing up equities and pushing up government bonds and perhaps this is an environment where the government can get away with being a bit more lax on spending thanit being a bit more lax on spending than it would have been able to be a few years ago. jane, thank you very much indeed. warnings from the prime minister of singapore this morning, that the blow from the coronavirus outbreak could push its economy into recession. karishma vaswani is in singapore. already worse than sars? yes, it was a pretty dire warning from the prime minister of singapore today, when he went to visit the
airport to talk to workers there and assess the situation of transport flights coming into the country. he said that when asked about the economy, it's definitely having an impactand economy, it's definitely having an impact and the impact is worse than the sars crisis of 2002— 03. he said it is too soon to say exactly how much of an impact but there is the possibility of a recession. singapore is one of those countries that has been really hit badly by the impact of the coronavirus. we have around 58 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in singapore and every single day, the assessment of how this is going to impact the economy just gets how this is going to impact the economyjust gets wider and bigger. 0k, thank you very much. let's ta ke let's take a look at the markets. asian shares inched higher, on course to post the second straight week of gains. they've been helped by hopes governments will make provisions to soften the impact on their economies from the coronavirus epidemic. as we just
heard there. japan's nikkei dropped, not helped by the news of first coronavirus death and signs of a potential rise in infections in the country. we can have a quick look at the picture across europe at the start of the trading session. if we can change the board... interesting moves on the currency market. eurozone data out later. the euro fell to its lowest level in almost three years against the dollar. thank you, for that. time now for our daily look at some of the newspaper and website stories which have caught our eye. joining me is linzi boyd, founder of brand—building business, bob group. very nice to see you again. let's start with, it is quite a powerful picture story that the guardian is looking at, a picture of emmanuel macron staring out of a rather forlorn mont blanc and this urgent sense of a need to do something to look after it? it's interesting, the whole world has woken up to climb it
and you would have had to be sleeping in a cupboard to realise that. but what is interesting as they are now talking about specific landmarks, like mont blanc and saying that they want to stop people or at least limit people from visiting it because of the environmental issue it is having on mont blanc. ina mont blanc. in a sense that a slightly different to climate change, the sheer numbers of people, we have known this for a long time, who make that sort of journey arejust... long time, who make that sort of journey are just... they are trampling it, damaging it, leaving litter, doing the things that humans do in what was otherwise a pristine spot? that's true. i think they are trying to get it back to just having mountaineers and skiers going to mont blanc and putting some rules about who can go up mont blanc and how is that possible? it has said that somebody actually left the british royal may lead —— marine left a full—size rowing machine on mont blanc. this isjust one left a full—size rowing machine on mont blanc. this is just one example
of what is happening there. mont blanc. this is just one example of what is happening therem mont blanc. this is just one example of what is happening there. it gives you something to do, i suppose. the flip side is if you stop people going there, sometimes by going there you see the impact of your own actions on the climate, you see retreating glaciers and it spurs you into action. people not knowing, it can reduce the realisation of what is happening to the environment. that is definitely true. i think if you stop people going, people won't see the impact it is having. they could use something socially and put some cameras on there and watch the decline of mont blanc and people could actually go live on to mont blanc and see what is happening with the place itself. it has come to something urgent in media and the new york post is one of many picking up on the uber driver who took the coronavirus or self suspected coronavirus patient to hospital. everyone loses in this story, it seems. hugely, for a start, the poor taxi driver who will now lose his income and the fact
that this is not obviously one case. i think there are many people, in mexico there were many uber drivers that got stopped from taking people because people were getting in the cab with coronavirus. people need to be aware of how disease is spread through the hands and how when you get into a taxi, it can be everywhere in the taxi. and he got suspended. he got suspended for it. he is paying the price for doing the job he thought he ought to do. definitely. we will leave it there, thank you very much indeed, good to see you. still to come... gifts you can't wrap. we'll get the inside track on the growing trend for giving "experiences" rather than traditional presents. you're with worklife from bbc news. royal bank of scotland group has reported a near doubling of annual profits and says it plans to change its name later this
year. the bank reported profits of £3.1 billion for 2019, nearly double the £1.6 billion seen the year before. our business editor, simonjack, has been speaking to alison rose, the bank's chief executive. well, we have launched a new vision for the bank, setting out a new strategy. now feels the right time to rename our group to natwest group. it aligns to the majority of our customers who know us as natwest, around 80% of our customers. there is no change for our customers or colleagues who will continue to interact with us as a royal bank of scotland and natwest. so just royal bank of scotland and natwest. sojust a token royal bank of scotland and natwest. so just a token gesture to help you forget we bowed about ten years ago, is that right? no, not at all. it's about simplifying and setting the strategy for the future, as we move into a new era. it feels like the right time for the name change of our right time for the name change of u . right time for the name change of our group. for our customers, there is no change. royal bank of scotland
is no change. royal bank of scotland is our brand in scotland and an incredibly important brand for us. it's been around almost 300 years and natwest is the brand our customers know as in england and wales. a lot of people say we own 62% of this bank so we expected good service but the number of branches has gone from 2010 years ago to 800 now. some customers value has gone from 2010 years ago to 800 now. some customers value those branches. you are withdrawing that service, for a taxpayer bank, that will strike a lot of people as odd. the vision i am setting out today is really to make sure that we are championing the potential of people, families and businesses right across the country. we have a branch network of over 800. we also have mobile vans and community bankers. we have our connection with the post office. we think that is about the right shape and size, based on our customer base today. that branch network is very important to us and we recognise that. for me, it's making sure we have a footprint and points of presence that are fit for
purpose, relevant to our customers and that will continue to evolve, as customer behaviour evolves. increased use of digital, increased use of mobile but we think the network is about the right shape and size. alison rose talking to simon jack. plenty more on the website. including london fashion week kicking. the industry contributes over $30 billion a year to the uk economy. more information whenever you want it. you're watching worklife. a reminder of our top story: willa legal crackdown see the wheels come off the multi—billion dollar e—scooter business? now, today is valentine's day — perhaps some of us will be on the lookout for that perfect romantic gift. flowers, chocolates, jewellery — these are the usual gifts of choice. but many people
are forgoing physical presents and opting instead to gift experiences. that's where virgin experience days, comes in. it's a uk—based firm that offers curated experiences to consumers, from flying spitfires to luxury breaks. with us now is richard hurd—wood, ceo, virgin experience days. welcome to the programme. what do you think is driving this trend towards people spending money on experiences and doing stuff rather than buying stuff? there is a drive towards the experience economy. people want to create memories and give a real story to tell. i think a lot of people feel they have enough staff and now experiences are starting to become really important for all gifts, notjust starting to become really important for all gifts, not just valentines that christmas and everything else. for example, our sales over the christmas period were up 50% year over year. we are currently selling, we offer thousands of different experiences. last year, we sold 1
million experiences. does an experience extend from cocktails for two in the shard, through to the more extreme things that we might think about? it does, we have a range of products at different prices and for all different tastes. they range from a night for the comedy club for two which retails at a reasonable price, right through to spitfires, and also afternoon tea at the ritz or cocktails at the gherkin. the problem with some of these things is you can buy one of these things is you can buy one of these experience vouchers and then later find there are so many limitations, you can't use it at the weekend, it is not available to you that evenings. how transparent is it incumbent on the providers of these experiences to beta people?” incumbent on the providers of these experiences to beta people? i think it is very important. we actually, quality control all of us supplies and work closely with them. also, ensure that they deliver a great service to our customers. but also,
with regard to... we allow our customers to exchange for any other voucher, if they change it for a different experience and to extend their voucher if they choose. we are aware of that and try to have the minimum amount of restrictions on when you can take the experience. there is another part of that equation, i have had a few experiences as gifts. 0ne equation, i have had a few experiences as gifts. one was great, we saw the wind tunnel, i have done that! the other one, wejust didn't get round to doing. i guess there is a pretty vast proportion of people who don't actually use them. that is money for old rope. it's a very small proportion of people who choose not to use it. we want people to use the experience. what is a small proportion? it is between 2596 of people who don't use it. but what we do look for... of people who don't use it. but what we do look for. .. a big proportion, isn't it? we try to ensure people ta ke isn't it? we try to ensure people take the experience, we remind them of the experience and the deadline and we also enable them to
extend their experience. for our business, we wa nt their experience. for our business, we want people to take the experience, we don't want people not to ta ke experience, we don't want people not to take the experience. you want to get that 25% down? to take the experience. you want to get that 2596 down? we absolutely do. if they don't enjoy the experience, they are unlikely to come back and buy another one. that is certainly the case and our intention. buy another one. that is certainly the case and our intentionlj buy another one. that is certainly the case and our intention. i wonder what role technology plays. it's so easy now. save the david birthday i wa nt to easy now. save the david birthday i want to buy him an experience day, i can go direct to the provider at the racetrack or the hot—air balloon company for is would i go through a third—party company like virgin experiences? we offer lots of guarantees around exchange and extensibility. we have over 3000 experiences on the site and we have built, using technology, gift finder, which takes in demographics about you, gender, age, the type of interest to have, the type of person you are and what budget you have to help you when you are trying to choose a gift for a loved one. much more curated? yes. we have to
end it there. you have probably done more experiences than anyone else on the planet! thank you forjoining us here. we will go through your tweets ina here. we will go through your tweets in a moment. before that... let's turn to australia where the growth of online furniture firm koala.com has been driven by irreverent marketing campaigns on social media. a start—up that began as a mattress—in—a—box company, its first viral ads caught the imagination of the public. we really hope we can stop their family going to ikea and going to a big furniture chain. there is one koala mattress for you. we are a brand for non—facebook. what we did extremely well was generate reviews and a lot of 5—star reviews. so word of trust was built. it's notjust an australian problem. people are paralysed by choice. customers are paying too much for low quality goods.
japan has been a really easy transition for us. it's a graveyard for a lot of brands. japan, very similarto for a lot of brands. japan, very similar to australia, in terms of their retail environment for mattresses and furniture and we can use the existing marketing channels, facebook and youtube. in asia, the bigg market everyone talks about is china but for us, not having access to the traditional marketing channels, facebook and youtube, meant it would be hard to grow the
brand. earlier in the programme, we asked you how you'd feel about giving or receiving a £1 engagement ring. you have responded. in numbers. we will pick up on some of them. this from david. it wasn't me. as long as it looks real, who ca res ? i think that was you, david! jerome says it is sensible to get money aside to pay for the divorce rather than spend it on a rock. that is the spirit on valentine's day! that is a miserable tweet. caroline says, responding to the idea, if she was to get a £1 ring, dumped! says it all. one word. thank you for your tweets. if you want to carry on the conversation use the hashtag bbc worklife. goodbye for now.
hello. friday has its own spell of wet and windy weather and we'll talk about that in just a moment. it's tied in with a weather front but it's what's coming behind that, in the shape of storm dennis, that has caused real concerns because, as you see, there are a lot of isobars on that chart again, rather like last weekend. but it's the persistence of the rain for some parts of the british isles that are causing real concerns because that front, even as far ahead as sunday evening, hasn't cleared away from that south—eastern quarter. when you put together the combination of the wet and the windy weather, that's why the met office have issued an amber warning for certain parts of england and wales during the course of saturday and, indeed, on into sunday as well. very heavy rain. you could see a month's worth of rain injust the next sort of couple of days or so through the course of the weekend. all the details about all of the warnings are on the bbc website, of course. through the course of friday, so the weather front tumbles its way into the north and west of england and into wales, having moved, during the morning, through scotland
and northern ireland. following on behind, brighter skies here but with a peppering of showers. the rain not really getting into that south—eastern quarter until, perhaps, late on in the afternoon, the first part of the evening, in what is going to be a milder day for many than was the case yesterday. now, normally you'd expect these weather fronts just to move off towards the continent. this one sticks around across that south—eastern quarter into the start of saturday. that is part of the problem, because having introduced that rain, as you will see, it keeps going for the rest of saturday and, indeed, on into sunday as well. there's a couple of dry hours to be had there on the eastern side of britain, but you've got to be up early because here comes a very active and slow—moving and waving weather front to introduce all of that rain across many parts of the british isles and increasingly strong winds, as well. maybe notjust as strong as they were last weekend, where we were up 80—90 miles an hour, but 50, 60, 70 miles an hour could easily cause significant disruption to your travel plans. there may well be branches down
and that could cause problems with power and travel, as i say. a mild day because all this breeze is coming in from the south and south—west. here we are as far ahead as sunday, same weather front still struggling to make progress down towards the south—eastern quarter. following on behind, it's a mixture of sunny spells, but some really blustery showers and it turns very windy to finish off the day across the north of scotland. keep up—to—date with the forecast. take care, bye—bye.
you're watching bbc news at nine. the headlines... after a dramatic reshuffle that saw his chancellor quit, borisjohnson prepares to chair the first meeting of his new cabinet at number 10. ministers old and new will be arriving here in downing street in the next half an hour as boris johnson tries to move on from the drama of yesterday. coronavirus is not on the rise outside of china, despite a sharp spike in hubei province, according to the world health organization. police in new zealand say they've found the body of stephanie simpson, the british woman who's been missing since monday. cases of mumps in england are at the highest level in a decade, with the steep rise being largely driven by outbreaks in universities and colleges. # fool me once, fool me twice... #